My experience with spinal cord injury and Pregnancy.
The most pressing question I had for my doctors 15 years ago was about pregnancy. I was 18 and being a mom was incredibly important to me. I couldn’t imagine not experiencing pregnancy.
Let’s fast forward 5 years and I was pregnant for the first time. I didn’t know any other wheelchair mommies. I found an amazing doctor, but I was his first SCI pregnancy patient.
The entire pregnancy was amazing and uneventful. I felt the baby kick around 14-16 weeks. We didn’t take any special precautions. As I neared the end, we discussed delivery. I had titanium rods and couldn’t bare down while lying down. I had huge concerns that I would try pushing and not be able to deliver vaginally. We opted for a medically necessary cesarean. I would go in fresh and I would know exactly what was going to happen.
The only glitch we had was with my epidural. We suspected it wouldn’t work and it didn’t. I have just enough feeling in my lower abdomen that we would have to use general anesthesia. This meant my husband had to wait outside the door. They handed him the baby within minutes and I was nursing less than 30 minutes later.
My second pregnancy was identical to the first, except for a placental abruption that wasn’t related to the SCI.
I saw a high risk doctor for my 3rd pregnancy because of the prior abruption. He didn’t feel it was necessary but my regular OB/GYN wanted the extra set of eyes. The entire pregnancy was uneventful. My water broke at 37 weeks, just 2 hours before my scheduled c-section.
We were planning an early delivery after an amniocentesis showed fully matured lungs. If you aren’t familiar with what an “amnio”centesis is, the doctor injects a needle into your uterus and extracts amniotic fluid that is then sent off for whatever test is necessary. I had the amnio because I started to feel “off” and we wanted to deliver as early as possible prevent a second abruption.
I would have to say all 3 pregnancies were incredibly normal.
This post also appeared as part of a larger post on the Push Living blog in November 2014 when I was asked to share my “normal” experience with spinal cord injury and pregnancy.